Japanese IT giant NEC on Friday booked a $100 million profit in its fiscal first half, reversing a year-ago loss, thanks to a boost in sales and cost-cutting. The company said it earned 8.0 billion yen in the three months to the end of September, compared with an 11 billion yen loss in the same period last year, while sales edged up 0.3 percent to 1.45 trillion yen. Operating profit surged nearly seven fold to 47.4 billion yen. The company left unchanged its full-year forecast, projecting a net profit of 20 billion yen on sales of 3.15 trillion yen for the year to March 2013. NEC said its IT solutions, carrier network and social infrastructure units all booked higher sales, offsetting declines in other businesses. Cost-cutting, including the voluntary retirement of some 2,400 workers, helped the bottom line, NEC said. The Nikkei business daily said last week that NEC's carrier network business has seen brisk sales due to demand for faster mobile Internet networks known as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), used in Apple's iPhone 5 smartphone. Japan's technology companies have struggled under pressure from the stubbornly strong yen, global competition, increasing material costs and falling prices. In January NEC said it planned to axe 10,000 jobs globally, which was followed by a decision by Moody's to lower its rating outlook on the firm.